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[Synoptic-L] Did Luke-Acts know Matthew?

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  • David Miller
    Last week Stephen Carlson proposed that the mention of baptism of repentance together with the prediction of a coming one in Acts 19:4 is best explained by
    Message 1 of 7 , Jan 12, 2004
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      Last week Stephen Carlson proposed that the mention of "baptism of
      repentance" together with the prediction of a "coming one" in Acts 19:4 is
      best explained by positing Luke's knowledge of Matthew. Mark Goodacre
      suggested that a Q theorist would likely respond as follows:

      > > (3) So where did Luke get it from in Acts 19? It was probably his
      > > memory of these two features, both of them congenial, from Mark and
      > > Q. John's baptism of repentance is a key feature of Mark 1; the
      > > announcement of the coming one is a key feature of Q 3 and Q 7. So
      > > he juxtaposes them himself in Acts 19 in the same way that Matthew
      > > juxtaposed them himself in Matt. 3. So there is nothing here that
      > > cannot be explained by independent redaction.

      Stephen Carlson replied: "A good theory would do well to minimize the number
      of anomalies it has,
      I would suggest that Acts 19:4 is yet another anomaly even under the
      name of 'independent redaction.'"

      I would like to suggest that Acts 19:4, understood within the larger context
      of references to John in Acts, is not anomalous. Perhaps a missing link
      here is Acts 13:24-25 where John's "baptism of
      repentance" is mentioned immediately before John's prediction of a coming
      one: "before his coming John had already proclaimed a baptism of repentance
      to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his work, he said,
      'What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but one is coming after
      me..."

      The mention of John's "baptism of repentance" (not "baptism for repentance")
      in Acts 13 as well as 19 suggests that the theme is not gratuitous in Acts.
      In any case, Acts 19:4 has more in common with Acts 13:24-25 than it does
      with Matt 3:11.

      It is interesting to note that if we omit Mark's description of John in Mark
      1:5-6, the prediction of a coming one (1:7) follows a reference to John's
      preaching of a baptism of repentance (1:4). Both Acts 13 and 19 focus on
      what John said--the extended description of John himself is naturally
      omitted. In Acts 13:24-25 the "baptism of repentance" is separated from the
      prediction of a coming one to a greater extent than it is in Acts 19:4, but
      in neither passage is a statement about repentance and baptism placed on
      John's lips. Only Matthew has John combine the two in one first person
      address.

      David Miller
      Ph.D. (Cand.), Biblical Area
      Dept. of Religious Studies
      McMaster University


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